Judge rules Lowcountry teenager will stand trial for murder

Judge rules Lowcountry teenager will stand trial for murder
Matthew Fischer (Source: Live 5 News)
Matthew Fischer (Source: Live 5 News)

CHARLESTON, SC (WCSC) - A judge has ruled a Lowcountry teenage murder suspect will stand trial.

Matthew Fischer claims he acted in self defense when he fatally stabbed Lucas Cavanaugh in January of 2015.

Prosecutors say the stabbing stemmed from a heated exchange of text messages between the two.

Fischer's ex girlfriend testified for the state and said he is the one to blame.

Fischer also took the stand and wanted to use the stand your ground defense which allows someone to defend themselves if they feel they are in imminent danger.

Fischer testified that he was at his girlfriend's house and that she told him to tell Cavanaugh to stop texting her on her iPod.

After a heated exchange of text messages, Fischer said he told Cavanaugh to come to the house.

He said when Cavanaugh got there, he choked him, forcing Cavanaugh to stab him.

Fischer's former girlfriend, Natalie Brown, told a much different story.

Brown testified she never told Fischer that Cavanaugh was not bothering her.

She says when Cavanaugh got to her house, Fischer ran up to the car and banged on the window.

Brown says Cavanaugh put Fischer in a headlock then released him, and that's when she saw Fischer pull out a knife.

Cavanaugh died from the stab wound.

Brown testified that Fischer told her to tell police that Cavanaugh went after him.

"I didn't mean to kill him" 

On the witness stand, Fischer testified he knew he killed Cavanaugh but that his intentions were to hurt him.

"After seeing what had happened, I assumed he was, I didn't mean to do it, I didn't mean to kill him. I just needed to get him off me. He had me in a chokehold, I couldn't breathe," Fischer said.

Savage claims Cavanaugh went to the house to start a fight with Fischer.

He says Cavanaugh charged at Fischer, choked and beat him repeatedly until Fischer pulled out a knife in self-defense.

Cavanaugh's family declined a request for an on-camera interview through a spokesperson who said right now it's too difficult for them to speak.

Cavanaugh's family issued a brief statement:

"Our family and friends have lived with the most unimaginable void and still struggle with the harsh reality of his unnecessary death. Tomorrow's hearing will open wounds that we are desperately trying to heal but we put our faith into the judicial system and trust that justice will prevail."

Fischer faces a sentence of 30 years to life in prison if convicted.

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